Qiang Jia Tao sat next to Yuan Gun Gun on the grass.
‘What’s wrong?’ Qiang Jia Tao asked. ‘Are you disappointed to see me?’
‘No,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.
‘Dummy, I’m only joking,’ Qiang Jia Tao said.
Qiang Jia Tao rubbed Xiao Yuan’s head.
‘Why are you here?’ Qiang Jia Tao asked. ‘Did young master give you free time?’
‘Yes,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘I only need to cook three meals a day. The rest of the time is my free time.’
‘Gun Gun, do you like young master?’ Qiang Jia Tao asked.
‘Yes,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.
Qiang Jia Tao didn’t expect Yuan Gun Gun to be so honest.
‘What do you like about young master?’ Qiang Jia Tao asked.
‘He’s temperamental but I don’t hate him,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘If I’m unhappy, I want to see him. I like his body scent, I like his fingers and I like the warm way he holds me. I don’t have enough fingers to list all the things I like about him.’
‘If you like him, it’s a problem,’ Qiang Jia Tao said.
‘Why?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked.
‘Because it’s a pity young master hates you,’ Qiang Jia Tao said.
Yuan Gun Gun felt numb, Hao Yan Che hated her.
‘Gun Gun, you’re the young mistress of the Yuan Household,’ Qiang Jia Tao said. ‘Do you know why you’re here?’
‘Yes,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘My daddy wants me to learn how to take care of myself and take care of other people.’
‘Do you know why you’re here and not at another home?’ Qiang Jia Tao asked.
‘No,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.
Qiang Jia Tao plucked grass from the ground.
‘Because your dad and young master’s father made a promise with each other,’ Qiang Jia Tao said. ‘Young master doesn’t want you here, his father forced him to let you stay here. Since young master was a boy, he hates being forced to do things. In young master’s eyes, you’re an eyesore.’
Yuan Gun Gun was given another shock, she was an eyesore at the Hao Mansion.
‘Gun Gun, don’t feel hurt by the truth,’ Qiang Jia Tao said. ‘Now that you know the truth, it’s best for you and young master if you keep your distance from young master.’
Yuan Gun Gun blinked back tears, Hao Yan Che hated her and saw her as an eyesore.
‘Don’t cry,’ Qiang Jia Tao said. ‘I know you like young master. But he hates you. I’m worried you’ll be hurt if you follow young master around all day…’
‘Big sister Jia Tao, don’t worry,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘I won’t follow him around all day. Thank you for telling me the truth.’
‘Of course I would worry about a little sister like you,’ Qiang Jia Tao said.
‘Big sister Jia Tao, I want to go back to my room,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.
‘Um, go inside,’ Qiang Jia Tao said.
‘Bye,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.
Yuan Gun Gun’s small friends followed Yuan Gun Gun inside, and Qiang Jia Tao plucked more grass from the ground.
In the evening, Yuan Gun Gun cooked dinner and brought it to the dining table like usual. Except she didn’t call Hao Yan Che to eat dinner, and walked straight to her room.
A moment later, Hao Yan Che walked to the dining table and gracefully ate dinner. Mrs Chen and the other servants felt the atmosphere was strained like the old days before Yuan Gun Gun arrived at the Hao Mansion.
Seven days past, Hao Yan Che and Yuan Gun Gun avoided seeing each other for seven days.
The morning after the seventh day, Yuan Gun Gun knocked on the study room door and bowed in front of Hao Yan Che.
‘Young master,’ Yuan Gun Gun greeted.
‘Um,’ Hao Yan Che said without looking up from the work papers on the desk.
‘Young master, I wanted to inform you that tomorrow is the start of my new school term,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘I won’t be back in time to cook lunch. Young master, is this acceptable?’
‘I know,’ Hao Yan Che said.
‘Thank you young master,’ Yuan Gun Gun said, bowed and left.
Hao Yan Che pushed the work papers off the desk, stood, kicked down the door and walked to the garage.
‘You need to replace another door,’ Jia Tu said.
‘I just replaced the last door yesterday,’ Yi Tu said. ‘How many doors need to be sacrificed before they reconcile?’
End of Chapter Fifty-One